///DR's Fanatec Porsche Carrera Wheel and Rennsport Wheelstand Review\\\

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Delphic Reason, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Delphic Reason

    Delphic Reason Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    9,589
    Fanatec Porsche 911 Carrera
    w/ Rennsport Wheel Stand


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Welcome to my review of the Fanatec Porsche 911 Carrera Wheel, and the Rennsport Wheelstand. To start off let me explain why I am choosing to review these two items together. In the coming weeks there will be a contest. The winner of which will receive the Fanatec Porsche 911 Carrera Wheel and the Rennsport Wheelstand. Therefore, I thought it fitting to review them together. Furthermore, many people who purchase the PWC will probably opt for the Wheelstand. I don’t imagine most who are in the market for such a wheel will have a home built (or an expensive pre-made) cockpit to attach it to. That being said, I have owned a Fanatec wheel for some time now (Porsche 911 Turbo S model, also known as the PWTS), and have found no flaws with it (other than a momentary driver issue, that was quickly solved). My PWTS has always been connected to a home built cockpit:

    https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=116737

    So, as you might imagine I was dubious. I wasn't sure what to expect out of the PWC (Carrera Wheel), or the Rennsport Wheel Stand. Having used a cockpit for so long, I wasn't expecting the wheelstand to be something that could be comparable. Similarly, Having used a PWTS for so long, I wasn't expecting the PWC to be comparable. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with both.

    First off, lets talk about the features of the wheel...

    Aesthetics

    The wheel is a dark blue with black accents. It looks very similar to the GT3RS wheel, although without the Alcantera rim, and sporting different colors. That being said, the GT3RS wheel I have always found to be the most comfortable (wheel grip), so having the PWC with the same layout/wheel grip is certainly a positive design choice. All in all, it's a great looking wheel. Some may even prefer the look to the Turbo S.

    As for the "feel", the wheel is rubber, and initially I didn't think I would like it (even though most all other budget wheels are rubber gripped as well), but after a short time, I realised the rubber makes for a very secure/sticky grip on the wheel. Honestly, I would say it provides a bit more grip, than the Turbo S. Also, the PWC is gear driven, as opposed to the GT3RS/PWTS which use belt drives. This changes how the FFB feels through the wheel to some degree. The overall engagement of the FFB/Rumble Effects is not quite as smooth as the PWTS/GT3RS, but what it loses in smoothness/fluidity it makes up for in responsiveness. I was amazed at how "twitchy" the wheel could be (similar to a G25/G27), which is fantastic for fast open wheel racing (Indy, F1, F3000, LM, etc...). Very fast response to inputs. As compared to the Logitech DFGT (closest competitor) the feel/aesthetics are in a league of their own. I loved my DFGT, but the PWC looks better (in my opinion), feels better, and has a level of adjustablity no other budget wheel can touch. Speaking of adjustablity...

    Features

    The PWC comes with an H-Gate shifter and Standard Pedals (with clutch/brake/throttle). This is the only budget wheel on the market that offers a 6-speed shifter and clutch. The closest competitor that does is the Logitech G25/G27, but at or near $300 it's nowhere near as affordable.

    I won't go into too much detail on every feature t his wheel has to offer. Posted above is a detailed list of features for both the PWC and the Wheel Stand. However, one important feature that needs to be mentioned is the upgradeable firmware. Just like the Turbo S (PWTS), the Carrera Wheel can be upgraded with any new firmware updates, keeping the PWC up to date with any new features. No other wheel, budget or otherwise, offers this kind of support. That being said, I will give a brief overview focusing on features I found to be the most applicable to myself, and other users of this forum.

    The following is adjustable on the wheel:

    o Save up to 5 wheel set-ups (setup for different games)
    o Adjust ForceFeedback (0 - 100)
    o Adjust steering angle independent from the game (from 90 - 900 in increments of 10)
    o Adjust damper strength (Driftmode) (5 settings)
    o Adjust deadzone (0 - 10, Perfect for GT5:p and/or any game with an inherant deadzone)
    o Adjust linearity (0 - 100, precision around center point)


    Out of all of these features (none of which can be adjusted on the DFGT/G25/G27), the most notable are the "Deadzone" and "Linearity" (in respect to Gran Turismo fans especially, but not limited to). For those who do not own a Fanatec wheel, let me explain why this is such a needed feature. Games like Enthusia, GT4, and GT5:p all have a built in deadzone, as all wheels of the time (Logitech) had mechanical deadzones. Therefore, the games needed to be tailored for these wheels. The Fanatec range of wheels are very precise and thus do not have any deadzone inherently. Due to this, the Fanatec range noticed oscillation problems when the wheel was at or around the center point. The added deadzone adjustment allows the wheel user to get around this problem. Adjusting the deazone along side the linearity seems to effectively smooth out the noticeability of the "dead zone" area. Of course these are only 2 of the features available to adjust. The adjustable steering ratio (90 - 900!) is one of if not my favorite features. You can effectively set the ratio to match the vehicle you are driving in the game. This is especially exciting for open wheel fans (F1 anyone?) where 900 degrees is not an accurate simulation. However, it goes beyond that. You can set it up to various degrees depending on the person in question. You can set it up for simulation or arcade games. You can do a bit of research and effectively match any vehicles ratio. All of the features are useful, and would be quite missed if I was to go back to a wheel that didn't have such functionality.

    Compatibility

    Like most wheels currently on the market, the PWC is compatible with the PS3 and PC. However, most PS2 games can be played with a backwards compatible PS3 system. Also, as said before with the added adjustability the deadzone/linearity allows, more PS2/PS3 games are supported than ever before. With previous Fanatec wheels (Turbo, Turbo S, GT3RS) if one wanted to play GT5:p you had to set the system date back (some technical bug). However, this is no longer the case. All newer Fanatec wheels (PWTSUE, GT3RSV2, and the PWC) are plug and play. No tinkering needs to be done in order to play games like Prologue.

    In conclusion, I can't think of any reason someone would be in the market for a budget wheel and not end up with a PWCPorsche Carrera Wheel. A ton of features, a ton of adjustments, and precise force feedback. If you want a wheel, but don't want to shell out the $300 for a G25/G27 (with less features to boot), this needs to be at the top of your list. After trying the PWC, all my friends are bugging me for a release date. Logitech has something to be worried about, after a long time of being the industry leader for simulation wheels. Competition breeds innovation, so we'll see how both Fanatec and Logitech evolve due to this. Right now, my money is on Fanatec.

    Below we turn our focus to the Rennsport Wheelstand


    Fanatec Rennsport Wheel Stand:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Welcome to part 2 of the review. This time we're focusing on the Rennsport Wheelstand. Although, in this review we will be focusing on the Wheel Stand as it pertains to the PWC.

    When I received it, it was nicely packaged and well protected. The instructions were hardly needed, as everything seemed pretty self explanatory. So, everything went together in a manner of minutes (about 10 minutes to be exact). As before, let’s start with aesthetics...

    Aesthetics

    The unit is all a matte black with silver painted base (pedal base). It is much more substantial than I was expecting. Thick metal tubing provides for a beefy solid feel (a bit more solid than the Wheel Stand Pro, in my opinion). There are rubber stoppers on the end of the pedal base, to stop the runners from slipping/scuffing. Also, there is a mount on the front of the stand that holds the allen key (for adjusting stand height/swivel). A small touch, but very useful, and looks good with the rest of the design. In my opinion the RSWS is the most aesthetically pleasing "wheel stand" currently on the market. Yet, it's not the looks that impress the most...

    Features

    Above you can see that the RSWS has quite a bit of adjustments for a wheel stand. There are a few of these features I think are particularly useful. The adjustable wheel tray angle allows you to set the wheel exactly where you need it. Whether you like the wheel straight up and down, or in bus driver position, you have the choice. Once the tray is tightened down it's rock solid as well, so no worries about the angle slipping. The one difference between this and the Wheelstand Pro is the angle of the upright support. With the Rennsport Stand the upright is straight up and down (i.e vertical) and this cannot be adjusted. Whereas the Wheelstand Pro has a quick release to adjust this angle. This would seem like a disadvantage, but there is a good reason the RSWS does not allow this adjustment Due to the quick release design of the Wheelstand Pro, the upright can shake and move with vigorous use. The RSWS upright support is rock solid, and does not move at all. Fortunately, one can just move the pedals, instead of moving the upright. I found this method to be easier and more user friendly. Your mileage may vary. The wheel can be folded and stored away in about 10 seconds. I found this to be more like 15 seconds, but either way it's incredibly useful for people who need to save space/time. It's easy to take it out (wheel/pedals still attached) plug it in, race for an hour, then easily fold it away and put it in a closet when not in use. I can't tell you how many times I have forfeited setting up the cockpit, because the wheelstand allowed me to jump right in, and jump right out when time was of the essence.


    Compatibility

    The Wheel Stand is compatible with most all wheels out on the market. All Fanatec wheels (of course), DF Pro, DFGT, G25/G27, and even the Microsoft Wireless Wheel. This means, any wheel you have, can be connected up. The Carrera Wheel was bolted to the stand using the included hardware in less than 5 minutes as the RSWS is pre-drilled for it. The standard pedals fit onto the frame like a glove (CSP's even better with the pedal stopper), and they don't move. Even when using the strong brakes of the Fanatec wheels. The only thing you will need to buy yourself, are the zip-ties for securing the wires to the stand, thus keeping them out of the way of any limbs.


    In closing, if you have a couch/futon/lazy boy, or what have you, and you're tired of clamping your wheel to the coffee table, tv-dinner tray, or unused exercise equipment, this will be just what the doctor ordered. Easily fold-able and store-able, sturdy, attractive, and most importantly functional. It does exactly what it was designed for and in style. I wasn't so sure about it when it arrived, but after logging about 15 hours on it I'm sold. When I have to give this stand away (stay tuned...) I am going to miss it, and honestly I'll probably pick one up for myself, especially for quick 2 player battles where a friend can use the stand, and myself in the cockpit.

    Another great product from the boys at Fanatec.





    ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  2. VRracer

    VRracer

    Messages:
    74
    Woo-Hoo,
    Thanks Delphic Reason,

    I see the wheel is listed at 11.8" dia.
    Is that the same as all the other Fanatec wheels ?
    I ask because, I thought in the past, I had seen some reviews that stated the Turbo-S/GT3RS were 12" diameter. I know this is a very small difference but I was just curious to know if all the Fanatec wheels were exactly the same diameter or if the Carrere was a tad bit smaller ?
     
  3. blacbul67

    blacbul67

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    154
    Great reviews Delphic, It would seem the future is Fanatec...
     
  4. Delphic Reason

    Delphic Reason Staff Emeritus

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    9,589
    They are all the same size. Like most companies, they rounded up, to keep things simple.

    The PWC and the GT3RS use the same wheel, just with different materials/paint.



    ;)
     
  5. Timppaq

    Timppaq Premium

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    5,123
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    Finland
    Thanks for the review :tup:
     
  6. vitor costa

    vitor costa

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    25
    Thks Delphic
     
  7. speedyK

    speedyK

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    232
    Nice review.

    One question:

    When you say,

    "the PWC is gear driven, as opposed to the GT3RS/PWTS which use belt drives. This changes how the FFB feels through the wheel to some degree. The overall engagement of the FFB/Rumble Effects is not quite as smooth as the PWTS/GT3RS, but what it loses in smoothness/fluidity it makes up for in responsiveness. I was amazed at how "twitchy" the wheel could be (similar to a G25/G27), () Very fast response to inputs.

    it sounds like you're saying that the belt-driven GT3RS/PWTS are not as responsive as the G25/G27. Is that correct?

    I've gone from DF to DF Pro to G25 and am considering a belt-drive Fanatec wheel, so your comment is of great interest. I'm not sure that "smoother but not as responsive" as a G25 would tempt me...
     
  8. Delphic Reason

    Delphic Reason Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    9,589
    That's a good question.

    It's tough to put into words how something "feels", so I tried to put it in the best way I could. Let me try to clarify...

    It's not about the "accuracy" of the FFB necessarily. Like most gear driven wheels, the action of the FFB against the gear teeth (G27 even more so, due to the helical gears) provides for a "sharp" response. This isn't to say it's a more "immediate" response. The belt drive I would say offers more "immediate" response due to the lack of free-play present between the gear teeth on a gear driven setup. Again, the G27 is a bit more immediate in it's response than the PWC, due to it's helical gears (and slightly quieter), but it suffers from a large center deadzone and inflated price, in comparison.

    Not to say the G27 isn't a good wheel (I love it for GT3/GT4), but for nearly half the price (although slightly noisier) you can have a wheel with more adjustability (90-900 degrees is an indispensable feature, in my opinion), and more expandability (firmware updates).

    I used a DFGT and a G25 for a long time and I loved both of them for what they were. They can't hold a candle to my Turbo S UE, though. So many features I never thought I would need, and now cannot imagine being without.

    ...and the PWC has ALL the same features of the PWTSUE (minus Xbox support).




    ;)
     
  9. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    AT LAST THE REVIEW. [/end cry of joy] :bowdown: Respect!

    I have a few questions though.


    • What is the advantage/disatvantage for linearity?
    • and
      This is probably more a question for Thomas but why put these two features in one description?
    • Can you adjust the steering angle during gameplay on PC and PS3?
    • What is:
    • No CSP yet?
    • Steering ration just for PC or also for PS3?
    • Price for Europe. :p:

    DR, what would you prefer if the price range was the same (hypothetical)? The GT3RSv2, belt driven or the Carrera wheel, gear driven?


    Thanks Thomas for giving the green light for DR to post his review.
     
  10. Fanatec...

    Fanatec... Premium

    Messages:
    782
    Oops... We need to delete that line. The description was originally made for the old electronics.

    The PWC is fully PS3 compatible

    The PWC is also compatible with the CSP but there is no PWC Pure or Clubsport edition planned yet.
     
  11. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    Ok, thanks Thomas. That's two questions answered.

    But is it possible to buy the CSP and the Carrera wheel seperately. Are they compatible at all?
     
  12. sonac

    sonac Premium

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    258
    But why not go for GT3RS V2 if you're already investing so much into pedals? ;)
    That asside, I think they are fully compatible since the electronics are the same as in GT3.
     
  13. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    Good question. Because the wheel itself is cheaper and still good quality. Money saved can be used for something else.
     
  14. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte Premium

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    Excellent, well done and congrats for being one of the few that Thomas entrusted to get these beta/preview wheels in advance. Some good points made about the comparisons to other wheels and the "Belt Vs Gear" discussions.

    Although I cannot comment on this product Id like to remind potential customers they should perhaps put extra interest into the features. With the Fanatec wheels you have much more ability to "fine tune" their wheels to your own personal taste and not only save the presets but do changing FFB etc on the fly ingame without having to return to game menus is a very much underpromoted set of features.

    On the feel of the wheel The "Drift" setting can give that little bit of extra "Response" in situations requiring quick left/right steering correction. You cant change this on any of the Logitec range never mind their entry level models.

    *
    Although this is the Turbo S wheel pay attention to the features...

    See 2:09 For Dampening/Drift Mode
    [Youtube]zcE-jkTJI4s[/Youtube]

    *
    Features for price this wheel will be great and will easily score very highly on the upcoming SRT review. Id like to put a big thanks, once again out to Thomas as well and the team behind what goes on at Fanatec.


    [SIZE="-2"]DR, You should look at "Tinypic" for hosting images mate. Please add the above video to your own OP if you want and I will delete the video if you think its appropiate in highlighting the "drift mode" effects and other "features". Maybe even better add your own video showing the features?That would be cool! [/SIZE]



    The wheelstand seems revised fom the original model. Looks to now have a new matt finish with the black rather than easier marked glossy black. Also what seems to be an improved fixing clamp mechanism wihout the big handle directly below the wheel platform of the original. That in some reviews got commented on getting in the way of peoples knees a little if I remember correctly. So nice changes and improvements...
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  15. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    Hasn't that already being done, the review?



    Starts at 25' 10""
     
  16. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte Premium

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    4,815
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    Yeah good spot mate. I must of forgot about that episode, lol how embarrising.
    Blame it on my mid life crises which is due to start soon.
     
  17. kikie

    kikie Premium

    Messages:
    21,042
    Not at all!

    DR, I can tell you that I'm even more interested in the Carrera wheel thanks to your review.

    The things I like about the Carrera wheel are the adjustments you can make on the wheel, the Fanatec quality build, that it's a slightly bigger wheel than the G27 and ofcourse the price. Insidesimracing said something about €149, the possibility that the CSP are probably compatible with this wheel.

    The thing I don't like is the bad reactions of customers I read about their customers service.
     
  18. Delphic Reason

    Delphic Reason Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    9,589
    Linearity is used primarily for widening the area of response around the center point. For example, if you have your wheel set to 180 degrees, you will notice how "twitchy" the response is around the center point (with such a small ratio, your turning inputs are effectively magnified). By adding some Linearity you can widen this center area (i.e making it less sensitive).

    Does that answer your question?

    Steering ratio can be adjusted for Console or PC (although, on PC the ratio can also be adjusted via the wheel profile (settings, telemetry, FFB, etc...)

    The price for Great Britain is listed here:

    http://www.fanatec.de/webshop/new_eu/index.php?cPath=21&osCsid=f58e277d0f42dd62cd5602c11826ebed

    I would prefer the GT3RS V2, if for no other reason than the Alcantara grip.

    I couldn't agree more.

    I don't think I could go back to using a wheel that didn't allow such adjustability/tuning. Indispensable features.

    Oh, I almost forgot. The CSP's are indeed compatible, as they are with all Fanatec wheels.


    ;)
     
  19. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    Yes it does.

    Thanks
     
  20. jabofu

    jabofu

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    593
    Location:
    Germany
    Nice Review! Very detailed!
     
  21. Delphic Reason

    Delphic Reason Staff Emeritus

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    9,589
    Thank you.

    It's nice to know all the hard work is appreciated. :tup:




    ;)
     
  22. [HR]Niels

    [HR]Niels

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    16
    Well you see a loads of complaints about service or customer support. And indeed it isnt the fastest customer service you would expect. I have my doubts about it aswell. But to be honest we just cant compare it to big company`s as Logitech because that is what we are doing. Fanatec is a small upcoming brand which to me is doing a fantastic job. As you look it up you`ll see it it has 9 employees. So is their customer support that bad if you know all that ?.
    Secondly how was the customer support when Logitech was building up their brand ?. I cant tell because Logitech has been around rather a long time. But must had its difficulty`s when starting off with their products. So no I dont think their support is bad, it just can be that fast and we must stop compare it with Logitech.

    @DR, a nice review. Was a nice read. :tup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  23. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    I didn't say that their support is bad, I said that " I don't like is the bad reactions of customers I read about their customers service." All the bad reaction of customers is about Fanatec being very slow in responding at times.
    The support is slow but good, that's what I was trying to imply. ;)
    Fanatec is honest and try to help their customers as good as possible.
     
  24. gkazantzis

    gkazantzis

    Messages:
    2
    Hi
    I'm going to buy next month the Rennsport Stand with the 911 GT3 RS V2 (so ClubSport Pedals)

    Do you think that the optional RennSport Wheel Stand Pedal Stopper is necessary? The cost of it is really nothing compared with the amount of the main order, but if i don't get it from the begining and i realize later that i have to buy it, i will have to pay again the shipment cost!

    Thanks and sorry that i can't write english well enough!!! :indiff:
    George
     
  25. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    21,042
    Off Topic but I have to say this.

    You can't write English well enough? I have to disagree! You're English is very good and according to the AUP. :tup:
     
  26. [HR]Niels

    [HR]Niels

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    16
    Well I gues were on the same mission then I believe. It wasnt especially reflected at you but more as a whole against people who are nagging about Fanatec. I used your comment as I have seen that a lot recently. Like said I doubt it sometimes as its slow. But at least you get a reply from them.
     
  27. Delphic Reason

    Delphic Reason Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    9,589
    I would advise the use of the Pedal Stopper. The CSP's are heavy, and have rubber feet, but I found the extra metal support helpful for keeping the pedals straight and true through plenty of heavy braking and heel/toe.



    Thank you. :tup:




    ;)
     
  28. vitor costa

    vitor costa

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    25
    x2
     
  29. bibio

    bibio

    Messages:
    74
    Hi, yeh with CSP's get the pedal stopper(suppose you could make one yourself), especially if at times your not the best braker :) , with it being a load cell, you can put extra effort, OK you skid(can be a fair bit of force).
    Before i had it, with holes in feet i used loop's of bailing twine(polypropolene), throught holes in feet, then around front of front bar, worked well. Simple, but easy, put on take off.
    I'm not too short or a weakling, but to collapse stand with CSP's, you really need to remove them, because(to be careful of wires etc, with pedal stopper), & even without pedal stopper, it becomes substantial weight, don't get a hernia. CSP's are good, not light weight thou..
    Thats not a negative, tubes etc are substantial, so heavy!!!!, prob not as good as a say triangular frame, but really good for what it is, expect a bit of movement.
    Wasn't sure of plastic clamp(new i think), for wheel height extention, but it works well, even being heavy handed, hard to break, & clamps well.
    Only minor negative Screw/knob to hold into upright or folded postion, not perfect(on mine, OK but have to really tighten), think some peeps have used a stud/bolt, then used a spanner to tighten. Maybe with not much effort, could be made to indent in hole better ?
    For me its OK, for some they could put another Scew/knob at other side of shaft(drill indents slightly diff), for other settings(can't really do it well with just one ie room for extra holes), bit more cost thou.
    Iv'e got kit(good, better than on wheel) to mount gear lever, i was a bit careful which studs i used, so they wouldn't reach/touch any electronics in wheel.
    Excellent wheel stand, does job really well.


    Cheers BOB
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  30. 12thgear

    12thgear Premium

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    United States
    Some people have reported using a sponge rubber carpet pad or drawer liner under the pedals helps keep them from sliding along the Wheel Stand. I find the Pedal Stopper to work a lot better. But a warning to hardwood floor owners: The hardware that clamps the Pedal Stopper to the Wheel Stand may be a bit long. Mine are long enough to touch the floor, so if the Wheel Stand slides a bit, it mars the wood. I ended up putting adhesive rubber feet under the top half of the Pedal Stopper. This raises it enough to keep the bolts from scratching my floor, and also prevents the Pedal Stopper from scratching the anodized aluminum "skids" on my Wheel Stand.